Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said local bodies should always place citizens at the centre of civic governance.
He also said participation of people in formulating and planning projects and services will improve execution and delivery of the services.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the new building of Pune Municipal Corporation, Naidu said, “As one of the cities selected under the Smart Cities Mission,Pune has the chance to become atrail blazerin urban governance by adopting a futuristic and people-centric approach”. “The Smart Cities Mission seeks to develop cities into sustainable, resilient, inclusive and citizen-friendly urban centres and turn them into hubs of economic activities,” he said.
“Local bodies should always place citizens at the centre of civic governance. The greater the participation of the people in formulating and planning various projects and services, the better will be the execution and delivery of the services,” the vice president said. Naidu complimented the Municipal Corporation for issuing municipal bonds for augmenting resources to take up developmental projects in Pune. He also asked the local body to improve itscredit worthinessto borrow finances from lending agencies.
Naidu said that burgeoning population in urban areas had led to haphazard and unplanned growth in many cities. “As a result, cities are finding it difficult to cope with the increasing demand for civic amenities and services. Inadequate finances have also handicapped the functioning of municipal bodies and there is a need to augment their resources to improve civic infrastructure,” said the vice president.
Highlighting the importance of healthy lifestyle, he suggested authorities to create non-motorised zones. “Every city must have dedicated bicycle tracks, pedestrian lanes and parks,” he said. The vice president said local body representatives must work collectively, irrespective of political affiliations, to protect water bodies and prevent their encroachment. While expressing his appreciation at the progress made in the implementation of projects under the Smart City mission, he cautioned against cost and time overruns while executing various projects.
“To improve the governance in urban local bodies, a bottom-up approach has to be implemented with zero tolerance towards corruption,” he added. Naidu further said that local bodies need to be provided with the three 3 Fs – Funds, Functions and Functionaries – for effective governance.
He said that 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments should be implemented in letter and spirit.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.